katrina. >> translator: the attempts to use unilateral power and threats to achieve selfish ends are not in accord with the fundamental spirit of the united nations charter. that is unacceptable and goes against the wisdom of humanity. >> noda said it's the responsibility of nations to protect their territory. he said that japan will fulfill that responsibility. but he stressed that his country will uphold the principles shared by the international community under all circumstances. he also criticized south korea to the international court of justice but their counter parts have rejected the criticisms. he said countries should pay more attention to the function of the international court. noda said japanese officials would respond calmly but his comments brought hill calm in some corners.
what were the major points that prime minister noda wanted to make in his speech? >> japanese officials were at first reluctant to raise the problems with south korea and china at the general assembly. the forum is for multinational challenges, not bilateral issues. the japanese were concerned they might be criticized for not sincerely contributing to the development of international society. but the theme of this year's general assembly is the rule of law. noda thought he could check recent moves by china and south korea without naming them as long as his remarks were in line with that theme. he assumed his comments would be understood as an attempt to solve these problems peacefully. the japanese government is developing alliances with the philippines, vietnam, and other countries. those countries are also concerned with china's expansion.
noda's speech is seen as reinforcing that policy. >> so what's the future of relations between japan and china and between japan and south korea? >> there is little hope for improved relations between japan and china for the time being although a certain degree of dialogue will continue. his china counterpart met in new york on tuesday on the sidelines of the u.n. general assembly. the japanese side called for calm in dealing with the issue. they said two countries should retain a broader perspective. but the chinese stood by their previous insistence that the islands are chinese territory. japanese government officials say china is expected to continue provocative activities near the islands for some time.
japan is also hoping to have a foreign minister meeting with south korea in new york. but many observers say if the two ministers meet they are likely only to reiterate their positions without making any progress on the territorial dispute. so it appears little will be the result for the time being and the noda administration is expected to face further difficulty in dealing with china and south katrina. the chinese foreign ministry said that japan is infringing on other nations' sovereign city, ignoring history and international law. chinese foreign minister didn't show up for the speech. he's scheduled to speak at the u.n. on friday. he is expected to reiterate chinese claims and pressure japanese leaders into accepting that a territorial issue exists between them. south korean foreign minister
didn't show up either. he has rejected japan's proposal to bring the dispute to the international court of justice. south korean officials believe that no dispute exists over those islands since they control them. hundreds of chinese have protested in front of the u.n. headquarters angry about china's nationalization of the senkaku islands. the protesters gathered ahead of noda's speech. >> we want to get the information to all the leaders in the united nations let them know, the island belong to china. >> the demonstrators waved chinese flags and signs demanding that japan leave the islands. mahmud ahmendinejad criticized israel for posing a constant threat to his country.
he told the general assembly the major powers are taking advantage of their possession of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction to threaten states. >> translator: israel's continuing threat to resort to military action against our nation is a clear example of this bitter reality. >> he also called for reform of the united nations and the creation of a new world order. iran chairs the conference of nonaligned countries made up of 120 countries and territories. he said unfairness and discrimination against developing countries by a few industrialized nations is creating an economic divide and fueling conflicts. two car bombs exploded near the syrian army headquarters in the capital of damascus. the blast killed at least four people. the explosion struck early wednesday morning, they were
followed by several hours of gun battles between rebel fighters and government forces in the downtown area. an anti-government activist told nhk the explosions hit the third and fourth floors of the building. four people died. syrian information minister said on a state television that the explosions caused only minor damage. he said there were no casualties and that the terrorist attacks had failed. the army command headquarters is in an off-limits zone where the presidential palace is located. greek leaders are going over some familiar ground. they are caught up again in a dilemma regarding their debt. what are greek people doing? >> we have seen this picture before. greek protesters taking to the streets to really show their disappointment in their -- with their predicament and we saw that with greeks taking to the
streets in the tens of thousands on wednesday. they were on a one-day general strike called up by the major labor unions and more than 30,000 people in athens alone joined the march to the country's parliament. they were protesting the government's decision to cut spending by 12 billion euro. the spending cut is required for getting financial aide from the european union and the international monetary fund. protesters throwing fire bombs and stones clashed with police. they all set fire to stores. workers at schools and public transport authorities joined the strikes. tourism sites were closed. it was the first general strike since the current administration took power in june. stock prices around the world are headed lower on wednesday. investors continue to threat over the situation in europe. and for more, we're joined by
our business reporter at the tokyo stock exchange. how are japanese stocks kicking off this morning? >> the nikkei fell below 9,000 on wednesday hitting a two-week low and it is moving below that level. it's now heading -- trading below 8,900. let's look at the levels. the nikkei is $8864 down half a 1%. and topix down half of 1%. now at 739. the dow jones finished at 13,413 down about a third of 1% and the nasdaq at 3093 dollars. those declines have a lot to do with jitters about the eurozone. there were violent protests in madrid. and we saw the biggest
anti-austerity demonstration in more than a year in greece as you just mentioned. people are wondering, are indebted european countries going to be able to put their fiscal health back in order in that prompted people to sell energy and high-tech. we had news in the political front on wednesday. the opposition liberal democratic party picked shinzo abe as the new person. we're learning about how political tensions between japan and china is affecting the economy. do you see that happening through the stock markets? >> indeed. investors will continue to keep a close eye on the political tensions between japan and china. we are, in fact hearing more
news that the tension -- the rift is affecting japanese businesses and corporate activity. on wednesday, ana said that 40,000 seat reservations have been cancelled. we will keep an eye on china related issues. turning to the currency market the yen gained ground against the dollar and the euro. the euro/yen around $99.99. euro/yen hit a two-week low of around 99.70 in european trading and that led to gains in the yen against the dollar, that pair pretty much remained in european trading and new york trading. back to you. >> catch you later.
japanese firms are asking mean mar to improve the business environment for foreign companies. it is attractive due to its rapid economic reforms. the chairman of the japan chamber of commence met with an official in the capital. he asked for swifter measures to ensure a stable supply of power. in response the senior official expressed hope for more investments from japan and pledged a better business environment. and that's all for business news for this hour. i'll be back later. but for now a recap of the markets. pledged a better business
the gaming industry is booming in japan driven by a rampant increase in smartphone users. it faces a serious shortage of programmers. a maker of game software has organized a programmer contest to find talented people. among the contestants were a handful of high school students. >> reporter: 22 finalists gathered in tokyo for the contest earlier this month. all of them are students. the total prize money is about $13,000. this is one of three high school students who are taking part. the three are competing against
undergraduate and graduate school students. he became interested in computers when he was in elementary school. he learned how to program video game applications by reading books and online information. >> translator: in programming whether you are in junior or senior high school doesn't matter. even one person can change the world. that's what i like about programming. >> reporter: this company organized the competition. demand for social networking games has been expanding thanks to a rapid spread of smartphones. last year the market grew to an estimated $3.6 billion. that's 2.5 times what it was in the previous year. the fast expansion is causing a programmer shortage. software companies are putting up online help wanted ads to fill the openings.
some offer to pay $230,000 a year. a fierce battle is going on in the industry to hire well qualified programmers. in the contest the participants are asked to write programs that automatically solve a puzzle by rearranging dice. all the problems are designed specifically to test their skills to write gaming programs. the contestants have to come up with ideas to solve the problems and put them into numbers and symbols to make them work. they have two hours to solve five problems. speed is a big factor, along with the accuracy and quality of their programs. murai couldn't even start solving the last problem. the winner was a junior at the university of tokyo.
[ applause ] murai came in eighth. but he was the top winner among the high school students. >> translator: i could have done a little better. still, it was fun. >> translator: it is becoming harder to hire good programmers. we want to hold events like this to outdo our competitors in attracting talented programmers. >> the company plans to host similar contests in other countries to hire programmers with talent. a japanese research substitute institute is claiming a first. it says it has created the world's 113th element. a team created a new element in a particle accelerator.
the team closely monitored the transition process to other elements and concluded the new element is the 113th to exist. if the results are confirmed by an international organization it will be the first asian institute to have the right to name the new element. >> translator: i'm confident in the results and that the creation of a new element is a big step for science. >> there are 94 elements that exist naturally. 20 others have been created by scientists. after months of wrangling deployment of a fleet of u.s. aircraft is about to take place. defense ministry officials say that 12 osprey will be deployed to the u.s. marine corps in okinawa prefecture as early as friday. ahead of the deployment, officials from local municipalities were offered a test ride on the aircraft to ease their concerns.
but few have accepted the offer. the test ride will take place on thursday at the air station in yamaguchi prefecture. the fleet of 12 osprey is currently undergoing atmosphere tests at the base ahead of deployment. but 19 of the 22 invited municipalities told nhk they have rejected the offer. the officials say they have other commitments. in the city where the aircraft will be deployed officials have declined the offer. they say they don't want to give the impression that they now think the aircraft is safe. officials from three municipalities say they will take the test flight. people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the challenges of the 2011 disaster but it won't be easy. they have to rebuild homes, businesses, entire communities. we'll show you their struggles
and their successes on the road ahead every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." evacuated firemen have not wait to return back home and get back on the job. but the evacuation orders are still in effect. however when the firefighters do return they will be prepared. we have the story. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: a storm breaks over the city. firefighters from nearby practice one final time. they're about to take part in the skills competition in fukushima. this man heads the five man squad. he operates the water pump and he also directs the other
members, seeing to it that they put out blazes efficiently. >> translator: it's stressful but all i can do is my best. >> reporter: he goes the extra mile, not only for himself but also for his late mentor. he used to head the fire department. but on march 11, 2011, the tsunami engulfed him while he was evacuating local residents. it was this man and his team who discovered the body the next day. >> translator: we placed his body on the back of a pickup truck. i did the driving and we laid him on a futon. >> reporter: he taught the man how to operate the pumps, especially making fine adjustments to the water pressure.
>> translator: he was very passionate. he often told me to practice hard if i was willing. but he also told me to get home if i wasn't up for it. >> reporter: on the eve of the competition, he and other members visit the district. >> translator: this is exactly where we found his body. >> reporter: the tsunami swept away many houses and killed a lot of people in this coastal area. the disaster scene remains untouched even though one and a half years have gone by. the fire department paid their respects at his grave and ask for his support in the competition. [ speaking foreign language ].
>> reporter: the tournament finally gets underway. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: teams will win points by quickly knocking down their target and moving with precision. with the instructions in mind, he directs the other members. at the same time, he pays careful attention to the pump's water pressure. of the 14 companies that took part, his squad came in eighth. this result is impressive when you consider the team's evacuation sites are located so far apart. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> translator: i practice hard
and gave 100% in the competition. just as he trained us to do. i hope this experience helps bring us even closer together. >> reporter: the fire department showed their late fire chief what they can do. now, they are determined to excel in protecting residents once everyone returns home. emergency crews in the philippines are working hard to make sure residents within their borders are safe. people there are dealing with torrential rains as typhoon situated east of the country continues to move northwards and now making its way to taiwan. >> the typhoon is now headed for tie yan and also the southern islands of japan.
right now a violent and large typhoon definitely the strongest category typhoon. sustained winds are 200 kilometers per hour with gusts over 270. it looks like it will get close to taiwan or the sakashima islands by saturday morning local time. stormier conditions are in the cards. gusts of 100 kilometers per hour are likely in the islands on friday. that will get even faster on saturday. so things will become critical over the next few days here. after that, the system will veer to the northeast. so it will move through the okinawa or other islands of japan for the next couple of -- few days. so things will become severe here. in terms of rainfall we anticipate as much as 100 to 250 millimeters of rain in eastern taiwan and more rain is in the cards in japan. we are anticipating upwards of 350 millimeters in parts of the
southern islands of japan. definitely this is enough to cause flooding as well as landslides. all right. we have another severe tropical storm. it continues to pull away from the islands and is now targeting the east islands. stormy conditions are still already occurring here and waves could reach eight meters in the islands today. as it moves to the northeast, waves will be an ongoing issue across the pacific nation in the next few days or so. it's not going to make landfall in central japan but it could activate the frontal system. so some showers are possible from late this afternoon into friday. out toward the west thundershowers are expanding in northeastern china and the korean peninsula. still looking at mild conditions
but should be cooling down to 21 degrees as we look ahead to friday. moving into the americas then, tropical storm amelia continues to weaken and move away from mexico. that's good news. it will continue into thursday as we move into friday. there is a long frontal line from eastern canada to the southern plains bringing severe weather. that means severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds and tornados. the conditions will ease on thursday. so that's good news. and out west we've got a low pressure system dragging cold air from the north. so we may see snow showers once again in the central rockies, including colorado. temperatures look like this. we can see a clear definition. this is where you are seeing severe thunderstorms on thursday. to the north of the front temperatures are cooling down to the upper teens or the mid